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The Refinery opens its doors to another class of Women-led Startups

The Refinery is now accepting applications until June 30 for their Fall 2015 Program. download (1)

Their mission is to accelerate the growth of early stage women-owned ventures. Last year’s class included CVG Rising Entrepreneur Wendy Davis of Gest Vision and many other exciting up-and-coming women led startups.

Apply today www.refineryct.com/application and join the other women-led businesses that they have “refined”, helping them to expand their markets, get funding and accelerate.

 

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June 2015 | Clean Tech & Advanced Manufacturing Recap

Seventy-two movers and shakers from the Crossroads Venture Group Community gathered to grow the Clean Tech and Advanced Manufacturing sector in Connecticut. There were company showcases and presentations, an investor panel that gave live feedback to presenting companies, as well as a keynote speaker and time for both pre and post-networking.recap 2

Presenting Companies:

Three strong Rising Entrepreneurs presented at this months CVG event in front of a panel of experienced and knowledgeable investors. After each presentation, investors had the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback.

Amastan Technologies LLC – presented by Kamal Hadidi, Founder and CTO.CVG recap
Sustainable Innovations LLC – presented by Trent Molter, Found, President & CEO.
Yumi EcoSolutions Inc. – presented by Virginia P’an, Founder & CEO.

Presenting Companies presented to a panel of experienced investors:

Doug Campbell, CEO, The Success Coach; Member, Angel Investor Forum
Konstantine Drakonakis, Director, LaunchCapital; Board of Directors, Crossroads Venture Group
Deb Kemper, Managing Director, Clean Energy Venture Group; Managing Director, Golden Seeds – Boston; Founder, Libra Global Partners
Russell Tweeddale, Managing Director of Investments, Connecticut Innovationsfor recap 1

Immediately following the entrepreneur presentations, keynote speaker Deb Kemper who is the managing director at Clean Energy Venture Group, the managing director at Golden Seeds Boston, and the founder of Libra Global Partner spoke about trends in the clean energy and advanced manufacturing industries.

We hope you will join us at the EdTech and Software event in June!

Present & Showcase at an upcoming event:

Interested in presenting as a Rising Entrepreneur at on of our future networking events? Click here to apply.

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 wendy davis for recap

 

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Farmington, CT based Recruiter.com raises $350K to accelerate growth

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Recuiter.com, a leading online recruiting service that utilizes proprietary technology to help match employers with great employees, has raised $350K from a group of private angel investors. The group was made up of angels from around the region and country including Hartford, Providence and Chicago, but was led by local investor Thomas Zipp of Connecticut.  Recruiter.com will use the money to help accelerate their growth and offer even more value to their growing client base. Miles Jennings, CEO of Recruiter.com had this to say about their new financing:

“With a growing user base and over 150 clients already, we see tremendous opportunity. The investment will help accelerate development of services that help employers find the right hires.”

Recruiter.com also named two members of their leadership advisory board. The new board includes Douglas Roth, director for venture investments at Connecticut Innovations as well as noted angel investor and CEO of the digital interviewing platform RIVS, David Wieland.

You can read more about Recruiter.com and their financing on MarketWatch.

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May 2015 | Digital Media Recap

Sixty-seven movers and shakers from the Crossroads Venture Group Community gathered to grow the Digital Media sector in Connecticut. There were company showcases and presentations, an investor panel that gave live feedback to presenting companies, as well as a keynote speaker and time for networking both before and after the program.

Presenting Companies:pitch1

Three strong Rising Entrepreneurs presented at this months CVG event in front of a panel of experienced and knowledgeable investors. After each presentation, investors had the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback.

Cafe Learn – Presented by Carrie O’Donnell. Cafe is a next generation course design platform to help colleges improve retention rates.

Reality Interactive – Presented by Craig K. Martin. Reality Interactive is a digital merchandising firm that helps pitch4clients communicate their brand message using interactive retail technology.

Structural Graphics – Presented by Julie Abraham. Structural Graphics has established and is leading the dimensional print market industry.

Presenting Companies presented to a panel of
experienced investors
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Immediately following the entrepreneur presentations, keynote speaker Kevin Segalla, Founder of Topstone Angels discussed

We hope you will join us at the Clean Technology and Advanced Manufacturing event in June! 

Present & Showcase at an upcoming event:

Interested in presenting as a Rising Entrepreneur at on of our future networking events? Click here to apply.

View more event photos

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CT’s Pension to Invest $145M in Connecticut Companies

Connecticut’s state treasurer Denise L. Nappier announced she will be committing $145M from the state employee pension fund for investments in CT based companies.  The $145M will be invested in companies of various sizes and stages of development through three funds which will be managed by outside fund managers.

Connecticut Growth Capital LLC, providing loans to middle market companies, will be managed by Westport based Balance Point Capital Partners. Nutmeg Opportunities Fund LLC , a fund that focuses on private equity investments, will be managed by New York’s J.P. Morgan Private Equity .West Hartford’s Fairview Capital Partners will manage the Constitution Fund LLC’s which will invest in early stage, high potential companies through traditional venture capital investments.

Nappier stated that the fund will be looking for sound investments that will also spur economic development in the state.

“It’s about making profitable investments that have the ancillary benefit of a positive macroeconomic impact on our state. Performance will be measured, first and foremost, by risk-adjusted returns, followed by other factors such as job creation and retention and overall economic growth.”

Connecticut’s pension is a multibillion dollar fund that invests equity in companies, and assets, to provide pension programs for its 212,000 state employees. The commitment to Connecticut companies is exciting news for the state and should bring a much needed boost to the economy.

You can find the complete article from the Hartford Business Journal here.

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May 2015 | Financial Technology Recap

As with all monthly CVG meetings, the Financial Technology event was one where networking took precedence. Sixty-two movers and shakers from the Crossroads Venture Group Community gathered to grow the Financial Technology sector in Connecticut. There were company showcases and presentations, an investor panel that gave live 17068282703_cff7cf146c_kfeedback to presenting companies, as well as a keynote speaker and time for networking both before and after the program.

Presenting Companies:

Three strong Rising Entrepreneurs presented at this months CVG event in front of a panel of experienced and knowledgeable investors. After each presentation, investors had the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback while audience members jotted comments on their Pitch Feedback Cards. Feedback cards were distributed to the presenters during the post-program networking hour.

Cardinal Wind – Presented by Mike Reynolds, Co-Founder & CEO and Teasha Feldman-Fitzthum, Co-Founder & CTO, is bridging the gap between engineers and the cardinalfinancial analysts to better help investors understand the wind-power industry in order to make future investment decisions. Cardinal Wind’s niche market is based on the fact that wind energy is difficult to measure and is over-saturated by conservative investors who are timid when it comes to a project that may yield considerable risk. Cardinal Wind incorporates patent-pending machine learning alogrothm technology invented at MIT,  technology that will benefit both banks and institutional owners as well as wind energy owners and operators. Cardinal Wind is currently seeking support in the form of capital resources, connections to industry players like banks and insurers, as well as advisory members for their board.

Reality Crowd TV – Presented by Manolis Sfinarolakis, Founder and CEO, is not another crowdfunding site. Reality REalityCrowd TV is a virtual incubator & crowdfunding network founded to provide support for those embarking on crowdfunding. The virtual incubator is comprised of the following elements; high quality mentors and experts, readily available educational programs, and funding platforms. In effect, it is the traditional incubator concept 100% online. Reality Crowd TV will offer three levels of service; one that offers the basic, free resources for do-it-yourselfers, a premium level that will allow access to experts, and an incubation level that offers more structured programming. Reality Crowd TV is seeking resources in order to scale the following business areas: Advisory board member with SAAS expertise, CTO hire, CMO hire, and a search for strategic partners in both accelerators and incubators.

SmartPay Solutions – Presented by Bob Conerly, CEO and President, provides pay-as-you-go workers’ compensation insurance administration and billing solutions SmartPaythrough proprietary software. According to Conerly there is an enormous, un-tapped market for this type of service and projects the company could easily pull in $52 billion in annual premiums. Also according to Conerly, competition has yet to reach SmartPay’s level. Similar providers like Paychex, ADP and Paygo require that they be the agent for their clients – SmartPay Solutions does not. In short, SmartPay “builds the connections so others don’t have to” allowing payroll venders and carriers to do business through SmartPay Solutions. SmartPay is also the only solution that currently offers premium financing.

Presenting Companies presented to a panel of experienced investors:

  • Valerie GelbCEO, Gelb Global
  • John StrahleyManaging Director, Ironwood Capital/Advantage Capital
  • Matthew StoreygardSenior Investment Associate, Connecticut Innovations
  • Ted Yang, Angel Investor Forum

Immediately following the entrepreneur presentations, keynote speaker Kiran Lingam, Investment Team and General Counsel at SeedInvest and Board of Director Keynoteat TiE Angels NYC, discussed the early stages in Fintech trends. These included P2P/Marketplace Lending, Investment Platforms, and Cryptocurrency (Bitcoin). According to Lingam, P2P lending is just getting started, especially in small business lending, consumer lending, and real estate.

We hope you will join us in two weeks at the Digital Media Makeup Event at the Stamford Innovation Center. 

Present & Showcase at an upcoming event:

Interested in presenting as a Rising Entrepreneur at on of our future networking events? Click here to apply.

View more event photos

 

 

 

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CI and Angel Investor Forum invest in BIOARRAY Therapeutics

ROCKY HILL, Conn., May 7, 2015 – Connecticut Innovations (CI) has announced it has invested $330K in BIOARRAY Therapeutics Inc. alongside Boston Harbor Angels and Connecticut’s largest angel group; the Angel Investor Forum. BIOARRAY is a clinical-stage molecular diagnostics company developing and commercializing RNA-based predictive diagnostics for cancer and is revolutionizing the treatment of breast cancer. All in, the Series A will provide BIOARRAY with $600K which will help them finish their clinical studies and move towards commercialization.

Patrick O’Neil, director of investments at CI, is excited about the investment in BIOARRAY and the effect the technology could have in the future.

“This diagnostic has the potential to improve the chances of disease-free survival for many patients and offer a much-needed alternative to the trial-and-error approach of cancer treatment, our investment will help BIOARRAY continue clinical studies and bring the company one step closer to commercialization.” 

 

BIOARRAY recently emerged from the UConn Technology Innovation Program and is now taking permanent residence at the Yale Science Park. You can learn more about BIOARRAY and CI in the full press release on CI’s website.  

 

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UConn Stamford Unveils Accelerate UConn Program

uconn_logo1According to the Stamford Advocate UConn Stamford will unveil its new Accelerate UConn Program on May 21st. The Program is UConn’s latest effort to fuel the entrepreneurial ventures of its students. The National Science Foundation announced earlier this year that it will be providing $300,000 in funding to the program, which will be used to distribute seed capital to entrepreneurs and startup teams in the program.

Barry Schwimmer, a managing partner of the Stamford Innovation Center and a major supporter of the Stamford startup scene, is excited about this new program.

“The Stamford Innovation Center is thrilled to see UConn bringing its NSF-I-Corps accelerator to Stamford. Great startup communities often have strong connections between academia and the business community. The Accelerate UConn program could really help enhance the exciting growth we are seeing here in Stamford,” said Schwimmer in an interview with the Stamford Advocate.

CVG is extremely excited about the development of this program and looks forward to its potential for building and growing startup communities around the state.

You can learn more about this program in the Stamford Advocate.

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Top CI Investments in Quarter 1

Top 10 deals from Connecticut Investment: 

Top deals Q1

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CURE: The Bigger Bang Theory – Non-Dilutive Funding as a Way to Get More Dough While Keeping More of the Pie

“For too many entrepreneurs and early-stage companies, outreach means two things: (1) a love-hate-need relationship with equity investors, and (2) praying on the altar of big pharma. Most rarely spend time in two critical habitats populated by critical stakeholders: venture philanthropy and government relations. These parts of the entrepreneurial ecosystem can provide funding where few deals have deal sheets; where support and value-add go far beyond the money. And, after an initial “tranche” of interest, they can be there throughout the medical product continuum. Their patients are your market. Their constituents are your market. Avoid them at your own peril.”

When: May 21 | 4:00pm
Where: Yale University | Evans Hall, School of Management
Cost: FREE

About Dr. Michael Salgaller:

michael-cure-learnDr. Michael Salgaller has over 20 years of medical research, business, and investment experience in various life

science sectors. He provides technical and strategic expertise to The Conafay Group in the area of funding, alliance development, and government relations.

Prior to joining The Conafay Group, he was a key member of the business development team for the healthcare practice at SAIC/Leidos – a Fortune-500 government contractor with $10B in annual revenue. He helped lead and deepen relationships with the Department of Health and Human Services – especially NIH and FDA – as well as foundations and patient advocacy groups. Before SAIC, he was a long-time industry executive who has held various positions in biotechnology and professional service firms – including interim President of Biologics Consulting Firm – a boutique medical product consulting firm. He was on the investment team of Toucan Capital, a $120M early-stage venture firm dedicated to the life sciences – where he guided company formation and helped develop medical products. Before that, as Vice President of Clinical and Research Affairs at Northwest Biotherapeutics, he led the development of two cancer treatments currently in late-stage clinical trials. He began his career doing bench research: as a Senior Staff Scientist at the National Cancer Institute, where he oversaw a laboratory developing cancer treatments for patients with terminal illnesses.

He is an author of over 100 articles, presentations, and book chapters, and serves on the editorial boards of several journals. He is the author of “Biotechnology Entrepreneurship,” which is used as a reference text for courses at NIH, Catholic University, and others. For several years, he has served on the selection committee for Maryland’s Incubator Company of the Year Awards, as well the Maryland Biotechnology Center Grant Awards. He was elected to the Sigma Xi Research Honorary, as well as the Pi Delta Epsilon Journalism Honorary. Dr. Salgaller received his PhD in Pathology from The Ohio State University.

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